Factory aces feature in Clipsal 500 Aus GT grid
Factory Audi and McLaren drivers feature in a bumper 27 car grid for the opening round of the 2017 Australian GT Championship at next week’s Clipsal 500.
South African young gun Kelvin van der Linde has been drafted in to join the Jamec Pem Racing squad as a replacement for 2015 champion and Audi ace Christopher Mies in the #74 R8 GT3.
Van der Linde is one of Audi’s young emerging talents boasting experience in the German ADAC GT Masters and the Blancpain GT Series.
The 20-year-old, who won the 2014 ADAC GT Masters title, will team up with the returning Geoff Emery, who is set for his first race since he suffered a fractured vertebra in a crash at Barbagallo Raceway in May.
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Blancpain Endurance Series champion Come Ledogar adds to the international flavour with the works McLaren driver joining Australian GT convert Fraser Ross in a Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S.
The 25-year-old partnered Shane van Gisbergen and Rob Bell in a Garage 59 McLaren on the way to the Blancpain Endurance Series title last year.
Ledogar raced for Tekno Autosports at the recent Bathurst 12 Hour and at last year’s Australian GT finale at Highlands Park.
The factory supported BMW Team SRM operation returns for a second year with a new driver line-up.
Porsche Carrera Cup driver James Bergmuller will join the experienced Steven Richards in the BMW M6.
Audi will be represented by six entries with the van der Linde/Emery (Jamec Pem Racing) car joined by the sister #75 piloted by Steve McLaughlan.
The pair are joined by Audi Customer Racing Australia prepared R8s for Marc Cini, Ash Walsh/James Koundouris, Greg Taylor/Nathan Antunes and Ash Samadi.
Bentley returns to the Australian GT scene courtesy of the new Heretic Autosport squad, who will field a Continental GT3 for John Bowe and Melinda Price.
Following an appearance at the Bathurst 12 Hour, Liam Talbot will continue behind the wheel of the Walkinshaw Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
As previously reported, Scott Taylor Motorsport has expanded to field two Mercedes AMG GT3s with Max Twigg joining the team during the off season.
The Gold Coast-based squad will operate a car for owner Scott Taylor and Craig Baird.
Meanwhile, Miedecke Stone Motorsport welcomes a new driver for the Australian GT campaign with Tony Bates set to pilot the Aston Martin Vantage.
The Australian GT Championship will host three 40 minute races at the Clipsal 500 from March 2-5.
Australian GT Championship 2017 Entry List
|3||Bondi Wholefoods||Audi R8 LMS||Ash Samadi|
|4||McElrea Racing||Lamborghini R-EX||Tim Miles/Jaxon Evans|
|5||GT Motorsport||Audi R8 LMS||Greg Taylor/Nathan Antunes|
|7||Darrell Lea||Aston Martin Vantage V12||Tony Quinn|
|8||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Max Twigg|
|9||Hallmarc Constrictios||Audi R8 LMS||Marc Cini|
|11||Objective Racing||McLaren 650S GT3||Tony Walls|
|14||Peter Major||Lamborghini R-EX||Peter Major|
|18||Heretic Autosport||Bentley Continental GT3||John Bowe/Melinda Price|
|19||Hogs Breath Café/Griffith Corporation||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Mark Griffith|
|23||JBS Australia||Lamborghini R-EX||Roger Lago/David Russell|
|24||Miedecke Stone Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage V12||Tony Bates|
|29||Pirelli/Trofeo Motorsport||Lamborghini Huracan GT3||Jim Manolios/Dean Canto|
|44||Supabarn Supermarkets||Audi R8 LMS||James Koundouris/Ash Walsh|
|48||Interlloy M Motorsport||Lamborghini R-EX||Justin McMillan/Glen Wood|
|51||AMAC Motorsport||Porsche 997 GT3-R||Andrew Macpherson/Brad Shiels|
|59||Tekno Autosports||McLaren 650S GT3||Fraser Ross/Côme Ledogar|
|73||Triffid.Bar.Venue||Lamborghini R-EX||Michael Hovey|
|74||Jamec Pem Racing||Audi R8 LMS||Geoff Emery/Kelvin van der Linde|
|75||Jamec Pem Racing||Audi R8 LMS||Steve McLaughlan|
|100||BMW Team SRM||BMW M6 GT3||Steve Richards/James Bergmuller|
|222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Scott Taylor/Craig Baird|
|777||The Bend Motorsport Park||Lamborghini R-EX||Yasser Shahin|
|911||Walkinshaw GT3||Porsche 911 GT3-R||Liam Talbot|
|15||Veloce Motorsport – ULX110||Porsche GT3 Cup Car||Keith Wong/Michael Almond|
|68||Michael O’Donnell||Porsche GT3 Cup Car||Michael O’Donnell|
|69||Koala Motorsport||Lamborghini R-EX||Brenton Griguol/Tim Macrow|